Saturday, July 14, 2012

The "Job Creators"

I hate to keep sounding like a broken record but....

There is one way - and ONLY one way - out of the mess the plutocracy has made of our economic infrastructure during the past thirty years, and it will involve taxes - decades and decades of SERIOUS taxation.

Which class of people has the responsibility for bearing the burden? The poor? The working class? The middle class? The upper middle class even? How 'bout the rich? Now there's a novel idea, huh?

Did I say "rich"? Perish the thought and forgive the faux pas, good and gentle reader! What I meant to say was "job creators". The handmaidens of the ruling class, elected to represent us in Washington, refuse to refer to them as "the rich" anymore. They are now "job creators". Ain't that a fucking hoot? And yet in spite of the Bush tax cuts being in place for over a decade now, they haven't been creating many jobs. In fact, for a while there, jobs were being lost at the rate of nearly half a million a month. The only "trickle down" came in the form of the American people getting pissed on.

Not only do the Republican
s refuse to raise their taxes a cent more, they want an extension of Dubya's tax policies - into infinity! This would only send the American middle class (or what's left of it) spiraling further into the economic abyss. Wait, it get's better! According to a McClatchy News report that was printed in this morning's Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY, fifty-two percent of registered voters agree with that the Bush tax cuts should stay just the way they are. This is the kind of stupidity I encounter every single day of my life. And you wonder why I love this job so much?

The only way out of the ditch that the "job creators" have dug us into will be by raising their taxes. And I'm not talking about a modest increase - I'm talking about soaking the bastards. That'll create some jobs pretty damned quick. For a period of at least ten years, we need to bring the tax rates of the richest half-a-percent back to where they were when Eisenhower was president, when a lot of them were in a ninety percent bracket. Just to refresh your American history, the economy did pretty well back then. Am I waging class warfare here? You'd better believe it, Buster. And I ain't takin' no prisoners, baby!

Oh, and speaking of taxes, this has not been a good week for Mitt Romney. He won't release twelve years of his tax statements as his father George did when he sought the Republican nomination in 1968. The reason for this is the fact that during the glorious Bush years (and beyond) it's a fairly safe bet that Romney payed very little to the Internal Revenue Service. In fact I'm sure there must be a year or two in there where he payed nothing at all. Call it a silly (and educated) hunch on my part. As of today, he's only released his 2010 returns. He's promised that before the election he'll also release his 2011 returns after his accountants make them available - but that's it. He doesn't dare go any further back than that. Would you if you were Mitt Romney? I didn't think so.

And now it looks as though Herr Mittster might have committed a felony. Isn't life beautiful? It would seem that between the years 1999 and 2002, Mitt reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that he was no longer with Bain Capital - the company that sent so many American jobs to China. But a cursory review of the company's paperwork for those years by some enterprising reporters reveals that Mitt was in fact still running the place during that time. This should get interesting.

FUN FACT: The Texas state Republican party has announced that part of their platform this year will be the demand that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 be repealed. As of this writing there has been not one word of reprimand toward them from the RNC.

This is a party that is beyond political rehabilitation. This is a party that needs to be politically extinguish. I almost used the word "exterminated" but thought better of it. That wouldn't have been very nice. And besides, Josef Goebbels isn't really my style.

Keep your eye on the Republican convention next month. The Tea Party halfwits who now control "the party of Abraham Lincoln" are starting to realize what a mistake it would be to give this guy the nomination. You see, as extreme as Romney is, he's not quite extreme enough for their tastes. The GOP convention of 2012 may very well bring back nasty memories of the Democratic catastrophe of 1968. And do you wanna hear the punchline? The delegates have been encouraged by the NRA to come to the convention armed! This should be just oodles of fun to watch - from a safe distance that is.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


One-hundred years ago today, the planet earth was in dire need of some serious shaking up, so Woody Guthrie came into the world. Forty-five years after his death he's still shaking things up.

As I was walking that lonesome highway
I saw a sign there, said "No Trespassing"
But on the other side it didn't say nothin'
That side was made for you and me

-Woody Guthrie, 1940

Happy birthday, Woody.


Although never a sports fan, I always took note of the career of Joe Paterno. His first cousin, Joe Gargiulo, was my uncle. He married my father's eldest sibling, Audrey Degan, in April of 1942. The physical resemblance between the two men was always striking. They might have been fraternal twins. Because of this indirect familial connection, I always felt a great amount of pride and admiration for the guy. That his once-sterling reputation could have fallen this low is almost inconceivable to me. It's like a horrible nightmare from which one awakens, grateful at the realization that it was just a dream. Only this is no dream. In fact it's too hideous and real to even contemplate.

I was hoping that, somehow, he would be exonerated. That's never gonna happen - not in this lifetime or any other for that matter. The release Thursday of Louis Freeh's seven-month-long investigation into this sordid affair put an end to any such hope. The kindest thing that can be said of Joe Paterno at this stage is that he was, at best, criminally negligent. A number of people - with a knowledge of the law far more expansive than mine - have said that had he not died on January 22, he would today be under indictment for felonious conspiracy. In an opinion piece in yesterday's New York Daily News, columnist Dick Weiss advocated that the statue of "JoePa" at the campus of Penn State University be torn down. I'm inclined to agree.

A sixty year, unblemished career and reputation have been reduced to ashes at the alter on public opinion. What a waste, and how unspeakably sad. The revelations get more sickening by the hour. What the hell was he thinking?

Uncle Joe passed away on October 6, 1990. Like Woody Guthrie, he would have turned 100 this year. I'm certainly glad he didn't live to see this.


The Boys on the Bus: Riding with the Campaign Press Corps
by Timothy Crouse

I was lucky enough to find a pristine hardcover copy of this book at a used bookstore this afternoon. In 1972 Crouse was part of the two-man team (along with Hunter Thompson) that covered the Nixon/McGovern contest for Rolling Stone. If you can find this one by all means pick it up. It's a very good read; the perfect companion volume to Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.


At 6:58 AM, Blogger Ronni said...

Guns? At a Republican convention? Oh, say it ain't so! You're right, this could get very interesting. So what happens if some of Mitt's delegates desert like the rats they are and some Texan gets them?

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a shame that this whole condi thing is just a charade of distraction. A black pro-choice woman would be the final nail in willard's coffin for teabags.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous d12345 said...

Regarding Paterno.... "A sixty year, unblemished career"

First of all, this scandal is at least 12 years ongoing...maybe more.

so one might say, "A sixty year career of perfect subterfuge."

Also...what makes you think this is an aberration?

He insisted that any crimes or misdeeds by football players be off bounds to customary university rules.
He alone would decide the proper course of action.

Read the new revelations about the huge contract he negotiated as the scandal broke.

As for "What was he thinking?" I would venture to guess:

He was thinking that revelation of these crimes would threaten his money, his empire, and his coaching reputation.
And all of that was far more important to him than any number of child victims.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Smokey Lagumski said...

Nice job "Picard, the fascist" near the end of "My Arugment With Facebook" at 7:43PM.

Tom changes the subject when someone makes a post that shows how distorted liberal thinking is.

The Bayes,

Thanks for showing us how a drunk argues with himself! We hope to hear more of your Guinness inspired bloody mad socialist rants from a country where living on the dole and hanging out at pubs is an accepted way of life! I'm sure the unemployed wankers you hang out with in the pubs rant with foaming mouths regularly against those rich buggers and predatory capitalism!

Dave Dubya,

I can understand why you are having trouble sleeping at night in Michigan knowing that the Japanese are developing robots that will eventually start replacing prison guards. The robots will save the taxpayers a lot of money, since the robots don't retire at an early age with generous pensions and healthcare compared to the rest of us 99%s. The robots are also not in bed with the state congresses, so the state congresses can't jack up their pay and benefits in exchange for their vote.

You must also be upset with what is happening in Scranton, PA, San Bernardino CA, Stockton, CA, and other cities run into the ground by the Democrats which will only get worse as the aging baby boomers retire at record numbers and the revenue for these towns dries up as the wagon pullers in the private sector move from these destroyed places. The state politicians who kept getting re-elected by making promises to the public sector unions are gone, and the can they all participated in kicking down the road is about to come to a stop. All that is left of these political whores are the true costs of their promises which are finally coming to light with their budgetary accounting gimmicks which were worse than Enron.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Never been to merrie olde England, have you Smokey!

Cheerio! Pip! Pip!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, how appropriate that you reference Guthrie. Some little known facts about his most famous song ties into your rant and I take the liberty of quoting from Wikipedia and including several verses from the original that were later thought too extreme for a warm fuzzy feeling about America.

As legend has it, Guthrie wrote the song in response to the hugely popular Irving Berlin song, "God Bless America." He was so tired of hearing the song on the radio and the blatant jingoism it promoted. Guthrie had seen much of America by this time, had experienced the Dust Bowl exodus of the 1930s and the racism and classism that followed emigrant workers and the blue collar working boys around, as they searched for work during the Great Depression.

As I went walking I saw a sign there 
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." 
But on the other side it didn't say nothing, 
That side was made for you and me.
In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people, 
By the relief office I seen my people; 
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking 
Is this land made for you and me?
Nobody living can ever stop me, 
As I go walking that freedom highway; 
Nobody living can ever make me turn back 
This land was made for you and me.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Re: Woody Guthrie:

The Smithsonian Institution has a treasure trove of Woody Guthrie songs, mostly (or all??) from the original masters recorded by Moses “Moe” Asch in the 1940’s. These fragile master recordings were transferred and digitally remastered, and issued as four CD’s called the Asch Recordings, Volumes 1 to 4. I visited the Smithsonian about ten years ago and purchased the four CD’s, which I listen to frequently. They are like a history lesson of the 1930’s.

In commemoration of “Woody at 100”the Smithsonian has issued The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection, which may be found at the following URL:

This Collection has a 150 page book and three CD’s of Woody’s songs, including 21 previously unrealeased performances and six never-before-heard original songs. This Collection has 57 individual selections, including some radio programs with multiple songs.

The Asch Collection Volume 1 to 4 has 105 selections, all individual songs. At the URL listed above there is a link to the Asch Collection Volumes 1 to 4.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Job Creators.

Please list all the jobs President Obama had that were in the private sector.

At 3:00 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Tom is absolutely correct that we will need decades of SERIOUS taxation to conquer the national debt. To see why, we need only to look at the top tax rates.

From 1932 until WW2 the top income tax rate never went below 63%. During WW2 it reached 94% and from 1950 to 1963 the top income tax rate was 91%. Then until 1981 the top rate was about 70%, and dropped to 50% until 1986. Then it decreased to a range of 28% to 35% (the present rate) except for 1995 to 1999 when it increased to 39.6%.

The mother of all tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 reduced the top income tax rate to 35% on earned income, which seems comparable to the 1986 to 2001 rates. But (that word again) those tax cuts maxed out at only 15% for dividends and capital gains, which is why Rick Scott (Florida Governor) and Mitt Romney paid less than 15% on millions of income in their tax return disclosures.

Mitt Romney’s tax plan if he is elected President is to exempt ALL dividends and capital gains from any income tax, as in ZERO income tax. Based on Romney’s 2010 tax return he would pay no income taxes on income of more than $40 Million. In the immortal words of Yakov Smirnoff, “What a Country !!”

Let’s say we start all over and do zero-based budgeting to see how we should spend Federal dollars. Side note, Jimmy Carter tried ZBB and it was a colossal failure. Ignore that and let’s say we will know the rock bottom amount we must spend. So where will we get that money.

There are poor people, lower middle class, upper middle class, and “the Rich” (what ever that means).

Remember, for every dollar from the first dollar earned to $106,800 annual earnings, 15.3% goes to the Federal Government for Social Security and Medicare (in 2011 and 2012 there was a temporary cut of 2% from the 15.3%).

Poor people? They have no money. Hint – that is why they are poor.

Lower middle class? They spend all their money after Social Security and Medicare taxes on absolute necessities. No money there.

Upper middle class? We could raise some money from this group but if they have college age children the colleges will sop up all their money and then some.

That leaves, TA DA, the “Rich.” Trouble is that most of their income comes in the form of dividends and capital gains, which presently is taxed at a maximum of 15% and under the Romney plan would yield ZERO income taxes.

So campers, if you owned the USA what would you do?

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

As Bill Moyers points out, "Poor people haven't lost their voice - they can't afford a voice."

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So by taxing the "rich" at the levels you feel fair, how long before the debt is paid off at just our current spending rate?

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Job creators" is a Right Wing corporatist propaganda tool to further cultivate loyal reverence for the power of wealth and the wealthy.

Poor Smokey hasn't been out of the house much. Everything he "knows" is from FOX(R) and Limbaugh.

All he can do is hate those he's indoctrinated to hate. Imagine living with all that ignorance, rage and anger based on sheer falsehoods and propaganda...

If he believes all he's told, he'd best be watching out for union thugs, commies, and death panels. That level of paranoia would qualify as mental illness, of course. Or cult indoctrination.

I'd almost feel sorry for him, but his brand of fascist extremism is dangerous to our democracy, prosperity, and freedom.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Tom V said...

To those who are in favor of taxing the rich, and for the record I am not rich, let me ask two questions.

When your employer is taxed to the gills who is going to pay the price? For the answer look in a mirror.

And lastly for those of you who know and love history I ask you this,when was the last time we were taxed into prosperity?

Have a great weekend,

Tom V

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Picard said...

@ron Baldwin

Sorry ron but you clearly don't know enough about economics (Tom degan knows less) if you think taxation can help close our MASSIVE deficit of over a trillion dollars. Look up deadweight loss or the laffer curve if you feel like reentering reality. Getting rid of the debt can be achieved only cutting the budget. Entitlements. Social security Medicare and Medicare need to be cut or at least frozen at their current levels. Military budget needs to be cut along with other programs that aren't helping. Ending the bush tax cuts would increase revenue but when all the previous things could achieve a balanced budget in a few years why hurt the economy by raising taxes.

It frustrating we get so many people these days who think taxing can solve the budget deficit. The president will never address the problem of spending and its dispicable. He keeps conversation on fixing the buffet rule which, jIf you do the research, won't even come close to closing the deficit . Bush deserves as much blame as barry for the overspending addiction in our country but considering the pace he's going at this country is royally screwed if we don't get a change in leadership

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what happens if you disagree with Dave D? He labels you either a racist or a fascist. If not both.

Yet he and his fellow progressives will not answer these simple questions:

So by taxing the "rich" at the levels you feel fair, how long before the debt is paid off at just our current spending rate?

Please list all the jobs President Obama had that were in the private sector.

It seems that is a lot easier name calling than really dealing with issues that beset us today.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Picare said...

On the previous post the second Medicair should've been Medicaid

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Anonymous asked – “So by taxing the 'rich' at the levels you feel fair, how long before the debt is paid off at just our current spending rate?

My comments – Short answer, at our current spending and taxation rates – a long long time, if ever.

At the end of Clinton’s Presidency the budget surpluses were projected to pay down the national debt to manageable levels in about ten years. And the top tax rate then was 39.6%. Rather than doing what was done to achieve those surpluses, we had (1) those massive 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that cut the surplus by about 60% ($150 Billion a year), (2) two unfunded wars for about ten years each, and (3) an unfunded prescription drug benefit added to Medicare.

If we went back to the tax rates of the Eisenhower years (and I do not recall in those years any bread lines for the “Rich”) the pay back time might be about a third of “a long time.”

Also you have ignored my starting point that we “know the rock bottom amount we must spend” before looking for how we will raise that money.

Tom V asked – “When your employer is taxed to the gills who is going to pay the price?”

My comment – Please define “gills.”

The 1950’s are generally thought of as prosperous years. The top tax rate in all those years was 91%

Tom V also asked – “when was the last time we were taxed into prosperity?”

My comment – Let me turn this around and ask when was the last time we were taxed into poverty? My answer – Right about now. In 2008 we came face to face with what could easily have been a global financial meltdown that would have made the Great Depression a walk in the park. We dodged a bullet but not by much. Yet we keep on doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I think that was Einstein’s definition of insanity.

One other point. I have referenced only the top income tax rate. That does not mean that someone in that top tax bracket pays that top tax rate on ALL income. Our tax rates have a progressive structure and even those in the top bracket have the benefit of all the lower rates of the lower tax brackets.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Nobody would be called fascist if they didn't lie, smear and hate like one. You got something to back up your hateful accusation?

Show us, why don't you? You can't of course.

Fascists are known for making unfounded accusations. Any radical Rightist who calls a liberal a commie is already displaying fascist tendencies. How are you different?

Please give us your name and occupation. Mine are smeared by anonymous fascist haters, possibly by you.

Got the guts or honesty to step up?

Or do you have something in common to be ashamed of, along with the sniveling "Smokey", "Two cents" and "Just the falsehoods"?

So revenue and spending are not related in your universe? How do tax cuts reduce the debt and deficit, especially when wars are charged on credit?

Who's raking it in more than ever? Who owns the GOP and half the Democrats? Who has all the "free speech" money?

If the rich pay less, who’s left to pay more for the debt and wars?

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Picard said...

@dave Dubya

Of course revenue and spending are related. That is an assumed factor in my explanation. Keeping spending at the current level will balance the deficit in years to come but the size of govt has been skyrocketing this isn't. The rich do not pay less money. That is a fantasy. People like warren buffet pay a lower "rate" because so much of his money is tied into the equity of Berkshire Hathaway. Which being capital gains its taxed at a different rate than Income tax. Investment is such a huge part of our economy that millions of jobs depend on capital gains being low.

Another fact Dave is that unions spend more money in politics than corporations. Why did you bring that up anyway? We were discussing the deficit and you jumped to the whole Corporations control everything diatribe

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think about this. Obama slams Romney for outsourcing that never happened then turns around and outsources his fundraising? Yes, Obama is fund raising in Switzerland, France, China and Sweden. Where is the out rage from the progressives?

Dave D RE: yours "Nobody would be called fascist if they didn't lie, smear and hate like one". Define a fascist lie vs a non fascist lie?

Still waiting for Obama's list of jobs he held in the private sector.

Example; is this fascist lie or a non fascist lie?
"If we don't get the unemployment rate below 6% by 2012 we don't deserve to be re-elected."

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

At first I was not inclined to answer Picard’s comment at 3:48 PM because he concluded I do not “know enough” about economics and am removed from reality. For the record I have a BS in Business (major accounting, minor economics). I also have an MBA degree and completed the Harvard Business School AMP Executive Education Program for seasoned executives. I have been a CPA for more than 50 years, which provides an in-depth understanding of the effects of taxation on many hundreds of people.

As to “deadweight loss” I assume Picard refers to that in the context of the excess burden of taxation. Sort of taxing one’s income at more than 100%. Now that’s a burden !!! The greatest benefit of that concept is that economists can make pretty little charts to describe what ordinary people understand intuitively.

As to the lafer curve I believe that has been thoroughly discredited. The concept of trickle down, which was a major buzzword in the early 1980’s just does not work. “If I get it, I keep it.” An ordinary factory worker understands that.

Entitlements are easy targets. Take Social Security for example. There have been enough surpluses raised for Social Security to keep the program solvent for about twenty five more years. By then a major part of the Baby Boomers will be dead.

So what’s the problem with funding Social Security? Look to Congresses that since 1964 spent those surpluses and put in worthless IOUs to replace the Social Security money they borrowed (stole?). So now we cut or eliminate Social Security?

If you read my comment at 3:00 AM you should note that I advocated both reduced spending and increased taxation. Picard recommends only reduced spending.

Not to pick on Mitt Romney but to use him as a verifiable example, in 2010 he reported income of more than $40 Million and paid about 14% of that in income tax because almost all his income was dividends and capital gains that have a maximum tax rate of 15%. For every dollar earned in 2010 by an ordinary worker earning less that $106,800, 15.3% went to the Federal government for Social Security and Medicare taxes. That is from dollar one. And that ignores any income taxes they may have paid.

Let’s assume that all Romney’s income was earned income. His Social Security and Medicare tax would have been .0004 of his total income. That’s four one hundredths of 1% of his total income.

And Romney’s tax “plan” calls for a zero tax on dividends and capital gains. What a Country !!!

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Picard said...

@ron Baldwin

My apologies Ron I shouldn't have made that assumption sometimes I get too excited.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The inverse would be raising revenue would balance the budget sooner.

The "size of government" is shrinking. There are fewer public employees.

Your other asssertions are unsubstantiated.

What, corporations have no accountability or don't factor with the deficit? They benefit from our public services, they should be taxed.

They buy legislation and tax policy too.

Who has all the free speech?

Who knows? Citizens United hides them in anonymity.

Here’s that “free speech” I’m talking about.

Corporations outspend unions by more than 10 to one but are free to hide their spending while unions disclose everything.


In its Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court held that companies have a First Amendment right to make electoral expenditures with general corporate treasuries. And they’ve done so, with relish, pouring millions into the political system.

What Citizens United failed to account for, however, is that a significant portion of the money that corporations are spending on politics is financed by equity capital provided by public pension funds — capital contributions that the government requires public employees to finance with their paychecks.

This consequence of Citizens United is perverse: requiring public employees to finance corporate electoral spending amounts to compelled political speech and association, something the First Amendment flatly forbids.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

And Here:

Citizens United leaves in place masks a less visible, but equally significant, way in which the law treats union and corporate political spending differently. Namely, federal law prohibits a union from spending its general treasury funds on politics if individual employees object to such use—employees, in short, enjoy a federally protected right to opt out of funding union political activity. In contrast, corporations are free to spend their general treasuries on politics even if individual shareholders object—shareholders enjoy no right to opt out of financing corporate political activity.


...Unions spent more than $17.3 million from their general treasuries on independent expenditures opposing Republican candidates...

Corporate donations are likely higher than reported as conservative non-profit groups spent $121 million without disclosing where the money came from.

Seventy-two percent of political advertising spending by outside groups in 2010 came from sources that were prohibited from spending money in 2006.

And here:

This outside money, made considerably easier to raise and spend by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision primarily purchases television, radio and print advertisements. Sometimes, these messages promote a candidate.

But often, they attack politicos. And of this spending, about $176.5 million has come from non-party-committee conservative organizations, through Wednesday. That compares to $81.6 million from non-party-committee liberal organizations. In four U.S. Senate races, outside groups have spent more than the candidates themselves through mid-October.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($34 million), American Action Network ($22.1 million), the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads ($19.9 million) and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies ($16.2 million) and ranked one, two, three and four among outside organizations spending money on independent expenditures, electioneering communications and other political communication costs through Wednesday. All are overtly conservative organizations.
They’re followed in fifth and sixth place by two liberal labor unions – Service Employees International Union ($15.5 million) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($11.8 million).


At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Picard said...

@dave Dubya

Yeah My assertion on the unions outspending was comically incorrect I see now. I've never been a big defender of citizens united myself I'm arguing for what I think is best way to balance the budget.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Picard "I'm arguing for what I think is best way to balance the budget."
A prudent combination of cuts and tax raises. You know, the kind of thing that will never happen in DC.
Here, fix the budget, or stabilize the debt.

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Picard said...


Yeah no doubt there's a solution that congress isn't willing to do. I feel like the tax increases and cuts that European countries are doing now are dangerous for a struggling economy.

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Picard "Yeah no doubt there's a solution that congress isn't willing to do. I feel like the tax increases and cuts that European countries are doing now are dangerous for a struggling economy."
Europe's cuts and tax raises hit too heavily the engine of the economy; the middle class (and those below, who have less to spend but immediately do so). In the case of Greece, they really had no choice (wildly out of touch retirement programs and hidden spending, with the hiding assisted both by Euro inspectors who didn't want to know the truth and Goldman-Sachs, who ably helped hide it, caught up to them). Ireland happily ran towards the very bubble that ate the USA, flipping from famine to feast and back to famine again. Countries like Portugal are generally screwed because their weak economies got pushed into recession because other countries fell into it. Britain's austerity wounds, however, are ongoing and self-inflicted.

Maintaining part of the Bush-era "temporary" tax cuts versus all of them results in a 0.1% (high estimate) change in the unemployment rate. Or, to put it another, and more future positive way, if instead of putting that money in to deficit fighting during a recession you put that in to fighting contraction in the states (teachers, firefighters, infrastructure maintenance, etc), the economic boost of that spending would be far greater than that provided from where it is now.
Defense is an area that can be cut. For one thing, spending $135M on fighters that shoot $10,000+ missiles at $40 soldiers with $300 Aks, in a sane world, would be looked at as the insanity that it is. For another, Defense is crappy stimulus (sadly, it's the only jobs program that both parties can agree on).

"Obamacare" is another step in the right direction, as no deficit-cutting strategy that fails to take into account healthcare spending (and its increasing rate of, um, increase) is no deficit-cutting strategy at all. (Note that, on the other side, the Ryan plan keeps most of the "$500B in Medicare cuts" they savaged Obama for. Further, note that Ryan is so concerned about Medicare costs that his plan is 40% more expensive, with any "savings" provided by simply refusing to pay it. That is to say, it's not serious at all).

So, as usual, the US is saddled with the feckless party and the malevolent party, bringing me back to the "the kind of thing that will never happen in DC".

At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Obama "out sourcing"!
We now have contracted with he Russians to place our astronauts into space.
Reason, it's cheaper. But look at the number of Americans who have lost their jobs because of this. Progressives should be screaming mad about this, but no, they focus on the GOP. Unions should be marching in the street over lost jobs.
But why not?

Still waiting to see if Dave D can answer questions that might require him to think, alas, I fear I wait in vain.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "More Obama 'out sourcing'! We now have contracted with he Russians to place our astronauts into space."
1 space shuttle: $1.7B(*1)
1 space shuttle launch: $450M, average flight cost $1.5B(*2)
Date last space shuttle (Endeavour) built: 1992
Expected date of first manned American launch of replacement: 2019-2021

In short, the Shuttles are expensive, old, their expected replacements, which have come up every decade or so only to be cut so that NASA could concentrate its limited resources(*3) on other missions, and the shuttle will take a while to replace(*4). In the mean time, NASA's budget is relatively stable, meaning that that funding has simply gone elsewhere within the agency, and that it's less "jobs lost" and more "jobs moved around".

So, other than the almost total failure on your part, kudos on taking such a strong stand against Obama. Really, your bravery in standing up for Big Government, Labor, and the considerable power of State is diminished not at all knowing that you'd take the exact opposite position had Obama asked for increased funding to maintain and extend the Shuttles' life, or worse, asked for even more money to boost the Constellation program.

*1 & 2. {cite}
*3. NASA budget is only about $18B/year, ({cite})
*4. Partly with "Free Market" solutions, from both the previous and currentadministrations. Damn Obama and his extreme socialism!(*5)

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More goofiness from Dave D.

"Fascists are known for making unfounded accusations." Really? and liberals NEVER do that?

Dave D says he wants a posters name and occupation because "Mine are smeared by anonymous fascist haters, possibly by you."

Is it a smear that you are a prison guard?
That you work in and for the state of Michigan?
That your job requires you to watch men all day?
That you belong to a public workers union?
That your income comes from the taxes people pay to Michigan?
That you claim to have former military service?
That you have been on Public Radio in Ann Arbor?
That you do not like corporations unless they are heavily controlled by government? (like the fascists do)
That you favor socialism like that which is found in Europe, including Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland?
That it is ok to hate fascists but not socialists?
That the rich need to pay way more in taxes, in order to make it fair for the 47% of Americans who own ZERO federal income tax?
That single provider health is called for in our Constitution?
That Obama care is to be funded by a "mandate" not a tax?
That you have defended the standard of living in Cuba?

So where were you smeared Davy? It's all stuff you posted here, on other blogs and your own.

At 12:51 AM, Anonymous J said...


I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has seen the complete disintegration of rational thought of people. I credit this de-evolution to Fox News and their propoganda and fault Obama's White House for not countering it more effectively.

I cringe with the vocabulary that is used these days: socialism, liberty, job-creators, takers, makers, etc...

I sit agap reading comments on news threads where people buy into this nonsense because it's wrapped in faux Americana and supposed patriotism.

I don't "hate" the rich, but they are cheap fucks. All one has to do is look at the jobs these days: the wages, the conditions, the lack of benefits, etc... and you know the rich don't give a damn about you or anyone else.

Why we people in this country willing to be so screwed by this minority is beyond me. But we're also a nation that watches "Swamp People," "Teen Mom," and think "Dancing with the (B) Stars" is cultural and classy.

The GOP has everything on the table to be cut: education, social programs, etc...everything but their salaries and that precious Pentagon budget. They cite how things are "so bad" but during May, the Romney camp pulled in $103K per hour. (Not bad for a nation gripped with fiscal armaggaedon!)

Even in our own households, when we began to "slip," we not only cut spending, but we try to find MORE income. It's ridiculously goddamn logical and common sense. None of which are hallmarks of today's GOP.

There is a frustration in this country, born of selfishness of our fellow citizens and stoked by the demons at Fox, that is painting the picture that we're all on our own. Heaven forbid if we all can't run out and buy the next goddamn I-Phone! Consequently we're demonizing the poor and classifying them all as lazy and quite disposable.

This is not American.

Unfortunately, all those that decry this as socialism, do so with an education provided by (*gasp*) socialist schools.

For the life of me, I don't know why my fellow citizens buy into this horseshit. It's not like they themselves are going to benefit in any way. It's not like their own situation is going to better in the least under the GOP. Yet, they argue on...foolishly.


At 1:08 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "That the rich need to pay way more in taxes, in order to make it fair for the 47% of Americans who own ZERO federal income tax?"
Yeah! Take that, those whose incomes fell dramatically during the recession (eg, the unemployed or underemployed), the elderly, working poor (esp single parents with children) and students, 75% of whom make less than $20,000 a year!

At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey MO,
So how does increasing taxes on the rich increase the income of the "those whose incomes fell dramatically during the recession (eg, the unemployed or underemployed), the elderly, working poor (esp single parents with children) and students, 75% of whom make less than $20,000 a year!"

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Picard said...

Yeah trashing the shuttle program was the best move and had been planned for a while. Still i was disapointed when he scrapped constellation program. Im a big space fan so newts moonbase was right up my alley

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

My goodness, I have never had such lavish attention from a man before. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Why would someone be so obsessed with lil' ol' me?

I wonder if "Just-Anonymous-Smokey-Two-cents" is stalking anyone else, or if I'm the only one he thinks about at bedtime.

If there is someone else, I hope he finds time for him, too.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

It continues to confound me why the 90% figure that “progressives” have such nostalgia for is almost always dissociated from a very important piece of information – the income level associated with that marginal tax rate.

In 1950, for example, the income level was $400,000 – above which the 90% tax rate applied. In 2012 dollars, that equates roughly to $3.8MM. I can assure you, I have never heard a figure anywhere near that high being proposed. In fact, it seems the conventional progressive wisdom today is somewhere around $250,000 – less than 1/10th what it was in 1950.

So, by Tom’s logic, we must also raise the marginal income level to around $4.0 MM to insure we are as prosperous as they were back then. You know, back when the average American lived in a 1,200 sq.ft. house, had 1 car, no cable, no cell phone, MIGHT have had a TV, etc, etc – they lived within their means, didn’t have masses of babies out of wedlock and didn’t suffer a high divorce rate. Folks, there are many more factors at play in why America is suffering socio-economically than the income tax structure.

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, just trying to figure out what is a smear and what isn't when it comes to you.
Care to comment on the list for it's accuracy?

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney responded in a series of five interviews with the major networks Friday to allegations he stayed at Bain Capital passed the February 1999 date he said he ended there. According to the Bain Capital website in December 2000 accessed online via the Web Archive, Romney was not listed as a member of the Bain Capital “management team.”

At 4:23 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

TD and Libs:

This is how job creation works in general.

1. Someone has an idea about a product or a service or a competitve improvement.

2. That someone makes a plan about product specs, process, captial requirements, staffing,etc.

3. That someone then considers all tertiary costs which include cost of borrowing money or raising equity and taxes on profits if any.

4. If what is left over is large enough to justify the opportunity costs for that someone and cover the costs of capital, then the risk is taken.

5. Then that someone works to make sure the above recipe becomes reality.

People are hired, taxes are paid and spread around. The job creator keeps what remains after all that.

Higher taxes reduces the remains from this effort and that is why tax policy is vitally important.

This process is what Bain and the like does. We are lucky to have such firms. They create and run many businesses which are responsible for countless jobs and tax revenue. Using an obviously humurous photo probably taken after a successful investment does not demean Romney.

TD, how does the above differ from your daily activities. I guess significantly and that is why people like you and our Flappy Paddle Gear Box of a President cannot claim job creation. You don't even understand it.

What will be your line when you parasites finally kill the host?

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

On Paterno,

Anyone who still supports the legacy of Paterno and his associates should have their heads examined. I am amazed at how many people do.

If I had power of collegiate athletics, I would force an end to football at Penn State unless anyone who had a clue of these events was terminated and the entire board of the university was replaced for abject negligence in oversight and very hefty compensation paid to each victim. Otherwise they can watch cross country in the fall.

It's amazing, I have asked Penn State fans who support Paterno how they would feel if Jerry made use of their childs soft ass. What amazes me is that the equivocate.

The same equivocation seems to take place with liberals in response to Obama's sodomy of this country.

Somethings are black and white, no pun intended.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

You don't even understand it.

What will be your line when you parasites finally kill the host?

Ach! Mein Gott! To ze Kamps vit you ignorant Jew, er, Liberal, parasites!

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ach! Mein Gott! To ze Kamps vit you ignorant Jew, er, Liberal, parasites!"

Funny Dave, real fucking funny, asshole.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Ned said...

Ha the picture for this article is histerical.
Well done Tom

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...


You often leave us in the dark.

Pray tell, WHO creates jobs? It is obviously not free-market capitalists. Government? The Jobs Fairy? We can't learn to quit being so ridiculously ignorant until we are blessed with your insight.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,
I haven't commented in awhile but still follow your take on things. The current politcal situation has my mind totally agog...Are we really going to allow the Mittster to get away with arrogantly hiding the truth from us? I'm with George Will who said: “The cost of not releasing the returns are clear; therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

The fact that this man is a bold-faced liar is more than clear, and he doesn't intend to release any additional tax returns other than the two he agreed to. The fact that he was active CEO at Bain when they bought SteriCycle is more than ironically funny. The Christian right would certainly have a hard time digesting the fact that he knowingly made a small fortune off of a company that collected fetuses from abortion clinics and disposed of them.

So, I think there's much this candidate wants to hide and the returns would once and for all make clear if he was or was not involved with Bain after February 1999 and how much he did or didn't pay in taxes. The fact that he has off-shore shell companies in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands is also notably suspicious.

Here's a good one that seems to apply to today from the Beatles:


Have you seen the little piggies
crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
life is getting worse,
Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
in their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
stirring up the dirt,
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their styes with all their backing they don't care what goes on around.
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
living piggy lives.
You can see them out for dinner
with their piggy wives
clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

1968 Northern Songs Ltd.

Let's hope Mitt gets a "damn good whacking!"


At 2:40 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Very apropos, Sal! George Harrison really nailed it with that one!


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "You often leave us in the dark."

Then turn on a light. What Tom expressed was well-illuminated to me. You have access to the same information that I do. Why isn't it apparent to you?

"Pray tell, WHO creates jobs? It is obviously not free-market capitalists. Government? The Jobs Fairy? We can't learn to quit being so ridiculously ignorant until we are blessed with your insight."

I realize yours is a rhetorical question, but it's also obvious that you're intentionally ignoring the bigger picture. Why is this? I hate to think you're being willfully ignorant, but possibly you are. I doubt whether Tom has more than his share of extraordinary blessedness (although I may be wrong); he obviously reads and seeks-out the truth. Perhaps the same motivation will some day come your way, or you'll be struck by the same blessedness and will miraculously see what was hidden by shadows before.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government did not build America, the free market built America.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

JG -

Your response is vacuous. If you care to answer the question, feel free. He likely won't. It was by no means rhetorical.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

And here I thought both government and the private sector created jobs..

Seems the private sector is more interested in creating jobs in Asia.

Oh, and slaves helped build America. Before that the Indians maintained it quite sustainably. And they were both socialistic and free.

The so-called "free market" doesn't give a damn about the environment, sustainability or American jobs.

Why is this so hard to figure out?

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave Dubya: "Why is this so hard to figure out?"

Thank you, Dave. All your points are valid and, quite honestly, areas I thought Harley could also recite. But, apparently not.

It's not a lack of light that confuses Harley, but instead, like many conservatives, he suffers from historical myopia. I understand it's a rather common ailment among right-wingers, and that it becomes most acute in four to eight year cycles.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "Your response is vacuous."

Yours wasn't?

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave Dubya said...
" And here I thought both government and the private sector created jobs.."

Well that's what you get for thinking Dave. WRONG AGAIN.
Private sector jobs creation in Asia? You must not be aware of the Govt $ sent to Finland to build a "green" car.

Without the private sector they would be zero money for the public sector, just review the economy in Cuba which is now allowing more private sector jobs in order to grown their economy, and the history of the USSR's failed socialist economy.

Strange thing is, progressives and our beloved President want to punish those who are successful in the private sector by taking more of the money they earned and giving it to the Public sector. Or claim their business were not built without the help of others, tell that to Henry Ford or the founders of IBM or Apple or Microsoft. They paid taxes as they built their business, unlike 47% of Americans today who pay NO Federal income tax, which was used to build highways, etc. So they did pay taxes.
If what they did is so easy, why doesn't the Govt start business for a profit to compete, or why don't the public workers unions demand their wages be based on the profit of their employer?
Well Dave?

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Obama campaign’s attack on Mitt Romney’s business record hasn’t changed the belief that venture capital firms like the one Romney worked for are better job creators than government programs like the ones championed by the president.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters believe venture capital companies are better at creating jobs than government programs are. Just 27% think government programs are a better way to create jobs. Seventeen percent (17%) aren’t sure.

See Dave, you and other progressives are in the minority, again.

Oh, and about all those green jobs the stimulus was going to create, guess that's not working out so good either is it Dave? Here's some wasted tax dollars and more unemployed which we thank our beloved Leader in the White House for. Read on, I'm sure you will find some way to blame Bush for this.

The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, heavily financed under an Obama administration energy initiative, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility 14 months after it opened.

Officials at Amonix headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif., have not responded to repeated calls for comment this week. The company today began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells.

A designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build the plant in North Las Vegas.

At its peak, the plant had ramped up to about 700 employees working three shifts a day to produce solar panels for a utility customer in Amarosa, Colo.

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, ole man, good buddy, pal of mine, friend to all mankind, your claim about the free market not giving a damn about "sustainability or American job; I guess the 700 newly unemployed at the Amonix solar manufacturing plant might disagree with you.

If they do, they must suffer from "historical myopia". Right!

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MO must be pissed, under Conservative Canada passes the USA under liberal control!

For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American, according to a report cited in Toronto's Globe and Mail.

And not just by a little. Currently, the average Canadian household is more than $40,000 richer than the average American household. The net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, compared to around $320,000 for Americans.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

If you're thinking the Canadian advantage must be due to exchange rates, think again. The Canadian dollar has actually caught up to the U.S. dollar in recent years.

"These are not 60-cent dollars, but Canadian dollars more or less at par with the U.S. greenback," Globe and Mail's Michael Adams writes.

To add insult to injury, not only are Canadians comparatively better-off than Americans, they're also more likely to be employed. The unemployment rate is 7.2 percent—and dropping—in Canada, while the U.S. is stuck with a stubbornly high rate of 8.2 percent.

Of course our beloved President is telling Canadians you didn't do this by yourselves, we in the USA had to help you!

Things awful quite from the liberal side, must be getting ready for the next talking point from DNC headquarters.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "MO must be pissed, under Conservative Canada passes the USA under liberal control!"
You do know that our country, for the most part, missed the economy-destroying spectacle yours did, thanks in no small part to regulation, right?
How much work does it take to duck in to your own punches, anyway?

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Modusoperandi: "You do know that our country, for the most part, missed the economy-destroying spectacle yours did, thanks in no small part to regulation, right?"

Please excuse Anonymous. Despite your mentioning this on several occasions, it's difficult for him to retain this due to his limited comprehension skills.

"How much work does it take to duck in to your own punches, anyway?"

Now that's easy for him! He's ambidextrous! ;-)

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MO, you are so full of shit.

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question for President Obama is this: if Bain Capital is so bad, why have you taken nearly $120,000 in donations from them? President Obama’s actions are the height of hypocrisy.

At 4:53 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "MO, you are so full of shit."
Um. No. Our "Big Five" banks have to walk a tightrope between the people, who don't like them, and the their government, who don't trust the banks (and whom the banks haven't bought). So, “In Canada, standards got nowhere near as low...When the crisis came upon us, the standards didn’t have to change.”
Also, our reaction to the encroaching recession was Stimulus, biased toward infrastructure.
The end result is that, while there are issues (healthcare spending and household debt, for two), Canada's got low inflation and dropping unemployment, rather than the former but not the latter (as, bizarrely, that's the US Fed's focus).

Anonymous "The real question for President Obama is this:"
The real question for Anonymous is: is why you seem incapable of making your own words.
Also, ...the attacks on Romney are not about Bain Capital or private equity but about the candidate’s business record. “Mitt Romney is the only person campaigning for president who says that during his tenure as a corporate buyout specialist his goal was job creation and that we should evaluate his qualifications for the presidency based on that record…"

At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, Canada did not have liberals in Congress force the banks to lend $ for homes the borrowers couldn't pay back in the name of "fairness. That's right Canada doesn't have Fanny or Freddy, or Barney Franks, or Maxine Waters.

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "That's right, Canada did not have liberals in Congress force the banks to lend $ for homes the borrowers couldn't pay back in the name of "fairness. That's right Canada doesn't have Fanny or Freddy, or Barney Franks, or Maxine Waters."
None of whom "forced" anybody to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. Maxine Waters, from what I understand advocated bringing the banks in and threatening to tax them to oblivion if they didn't start modifying failing loans. That monster!

Frank thought that things were pretty solid (which, in 2003 at Fannie/Freddie, they were. And for my own amusement I'll note that Frank was the head of the minority party on the House Financial Services Committee until 2007).

As for the GSEs Fannie/Freddie, “...the respective average delinquency rates for the non-GSE and GSE loans were 28.3% and 6.2%” (FCIC report, pg219). They had low standards (idiotic ones, sometimes), but the Free Market had no standards at all. Fannie/Freddie weren't making the market, they were watching it pass them by. It wasn't Carter, Clinton or Frank, but the vaunted de-regulated, self-policing Free Market itself that sank the Free Market. Not Fannie, but WAMU. Not Freddie, but Goldman-Sachs.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

"MO, you are so full of shit." Sorry but it was worth repeating.

Jobs or government, chicken or egg???

Drop 20 people on an unpopulated island. Those people will endeavor to survive and improve their living conditions (jobs). They then create a bueracracy (hopefully without a commerce clause) to take care of common needs.

People and the jobs they create come first, government second. This is how the process works. Prior industry paid for our infrastructures, not the government.

Because people can point to defence department technological advances (internet => DARPA) doesnt change the dynamic. Sorry Al, Ears.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Either the Right Wing term for facts is shit, or "so full of shit." is more of their projection.

Compare the referenced facts offered here, versus chickens, eggs, and 20 people on an island.

Wow. Might as well debate theology with Moonies.

"Defence department technological advances (internet => DARPA) doesnt change the dynamic.

How narrow minded and ideological must one be to willfully blind one’s self to the fact that DOD, NASA, CDC, and countless government funded research projects have benefitted businesses and the population?

This is the mentality that elevates Rush Limbaugh's opinions/lies as authority over climate scientists and their socialist thermometers.

They are a cult. They cannot question the indoctrination from their leaders. No matter how full of shit they are.

They actually believe in, and are in fear of, death panels from an America-hating Kenyan Marxist. And liberals are full of shit?

This would be hysterical if not for the fact the Zombie Cult is killing our democracy, prosperity, and freedom.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"USA under liberal control!"

Which USA would that be? The one with the liberal Supreme Court, the liberal House, the liberal Senate, and the liberal White House, and the liberal majority of state governors?

The USA where the public interests have more public funding, lobbyists, political representation, and "free speech money" than corporations and the corporate media?

That USA? Where can I find such a place? I want to move there.

But not if it exists only in the minds of brainwashed cultists.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"And here I thought both government and the private sector created jobs.."

Yep. And gov't has the right, the duty, and the need to establish public jobs that serve civil society. But only the private sector creates value. Where do the resources come from to pay for government-sponsored & financed jobs? This is not difficult, and it is merely reality. I have no vested ideological or spiritual hang-ups here guys.

And, please cut the condescending tones. It is getting old.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

And gov't has the right, the duty, and the need to establish public jobs that serve civil society.

Thank you, Harley.

Pray tell, WHO creates jobs? It is obviously not free-market capitalists. Government? The Jobs Fairy? We can't learn to quit being so ridiculously ignorant until we are blessed with your insight.

cut the condescending tones is a good idea...

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maxine Waters, from what I understand advocated bringing the banks in and threatening to tax them to oblivion if they didn't start modifying failing loans. That monster!
You understand WRONG!

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "You understand WRONG!"
*Sigh* /me rubs forehead
Then enlighten us, Anonymous. Was she activist? Yes. Is she crooked? Yes. And so?
Show us how [another] Democrat who spent the bubble sitting on the minority side of the House Committee on Financial Services broke the economy.

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: "Debt Crisis" flashback 2001 Bush had a 5.6 trillion dollar surplus which the "decider" and Cheney "decided" was a dividend for all their rich cronies—with Cheney telling Paul O'Neill Secretary of the Treasury to shut his pie-hole and proclaimed that surplus was "their due"for winning the election. Flash forward 2008 the economy after eight years of "deregulated trickle downism" & revenue starvation, no-bid crony capitalism, two unfunded wars and a drug program run amok the country tanks after racking up a ten trillion dollar debt. All the while Cheney et al are chanting in unison"Reagan proved deficits don't matter." At least until a black man got elected. A pox on you all you reactionary fascist bastards and your rewriting history.

At 8:04 PM, Anonymous James said...

I believe Clinton had a $ 300,000 surplus to end his presidency. The national debt was then 5.75 trillion and Bush raised it to 10.75 trillion. Obama has taken it from 10.75 to 16 trillion in less than 4 years. In 4 years we will be paying 1 trillion in interest on the debt which will be 33 percent of the federal receipts. I think the country is fucked up beyond repair. There is no way either party will ever do what is necessary to avert total collapse of the economy.

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous James said...

That should of been 300 billion.

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous John said...

James, that huge debt was been created by design. Unfortunately, it exists primarily to enslave those of lesser means (you know the 99.9%). The people who created it are the very people who Tom proposes to tax, so any concessions they accept in this area will merely be for show and and have no real substance...

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey MO
Do your own research.
And next time whip your forehead before your ass.

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Hey MO Do your own research."
I did. You didn't. The odd thing is you think that bald assertions somehow form a supportable argument.

At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"The odd thing is you"

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous, you're what, twelve?

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Lou said...

The series of conversations in this thread was very interesting, although it degraded at the end. There are many different subtopics contained here I'd like to comment on, but at this point, I think it's too late into the conversation; and I don't have time to devote to commenting adequately anyway.

I'll leave this comment, which will hopefully address some of topics.

There are many references I can list that show relevant data about how tax laws are greatly skewed to the rich - and that this skew does NOT create more jobs.

For example:

As Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz points out, the richest 1 percent of Americans now own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Sociologist William Domhoff illustrates this wealth disparity using 2007 figures where the top 1 percent owned 42 percent of the country’s financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home). How much does the bottom 80 percent own? Only 7 percent.

The Top 1 Percent of Americans Take Home 24 Percent of National Income

While the richest 1 percent of Americans take home almost a quarter of national income today, in 1976 they took home just 9 percent — meaning their share of the national income pool has nearly tripled in roughly three decades.

Here is the transcript of a speech by wealthy venture capitalist Nick Hanaur. "He's screaming to anyone who will listen that he, and other wealthy innovators like him, doesn't create jobs. The middle class does - and its decline threatens everyone in America, from the innovators on down."

Partial quote from above link: "Anyone who's ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalists course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it. In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn't just inaccurate, it's disingenuous.

That's why our current policies are so upside down. When you have a tax system in which most of the exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.

Since 1980 the share of income for the richest Americans has more than tripled while effective tax rates have declined by close to 50%.

If it were true that lower tax rates and more wealth for the wealthy would lead to more job creation, then today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet unemployment and under-employment is at record highs."

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Lou: "...wealthy venture capitalist Nick Hanaur. 'He's screaming to anyone who will listen that he, and other wealthy innovators like him, doesn't create jobs. The middle class does - and its decline threatens everyone in America, from the innovators on down.'"

Nick Hanaur is "right on the money" (no pun intended). Here's a short video segment of his very logical analysis concerning "job creators" and who they really are. As he contends, it's not him, or thousands of other entrepreneurs like him, but rather it's you and me, and millions of others like us, who create demand for the products and/or services people like Mr. Hanaur provide. Without us, they wouldn't exist. It truly is a "feedback loop", or borrowing a term from the natural sciences, a "symbiotic relationship". In essence, his argument is oozing with Keynesian thought and philosophy.

But, alas, the conservative and libertarian ideologues who infest this blog will never accept this logic. They only believe in pure supply-side economics, where every virtue and kernel of goodness -- the "manna from heaven" -- rains down from the elite and the "job creators", and we're supposed to be grateful and honoring of those who create so much for our benefit.

Mr. Hanaur totally destroys that myth.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

My apologies to Nick Hanauer. I misspelled his last name in my previous comment.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom your logic is messed up as usual. You want to "really soak" the rich bastards, the upper 1/2%. Well lots of problems with that. Suppose a bunch of liberal nuts like yourself actually get that law passed. Okay, then the "rich" stop making money so they don't have to pay taxes. Massive layoffs results. The rich have enough money already, they won't work to give it to the government. But suppose the libs take it a step further and actually confiscate the already existing wealth from the upper 1/2%. Did you know at the current spending rate that would only run the government for 8 DAYS. Wise up Tom, you're delusional. This spending is a complete runaway train right now and it cannot be satiated by any amount of tax increases on "the rich". The reason why the Republicans won't allow even one penny of tax increases is that the spending cuts that are supposed to accompany such deals never actually happen, but the taxes stay in place.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh one more thing, quit portraying Republicans as violent. Every delegate could show up to the Republican convention armed and not a single thing would happen and you know it. There were NO arrests at Tea Party rallies. Perhaps extremely rare examples. Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street, your kind of people Tom, they got arrested by the busload for violence. So stop your garbage about the Republicans or Tea Partiers being the violent ones because 99% of the time when a protestor is arrested, they are a liberal. The numbers and the truth are on my side, you're just full of it.


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